Longing for Justice: Higher Education and Democracy's Agenda

By Jennifer S. Simpson

© 2014

A timely and persuasive argument for Higher Education’s obligations to our democratic society, Longing for Justice combines personal narrative with critical analysis to make the case for educational practices that connect to questions of democracy, justice, and the common good.  Jennifer S. Simpson begins with three questions. First, what is the nature of the social contract that universities have with public life? Second, how might this social contract shape undergraduate education? And third, how do specific approaches to knowledge and undergraduate education inform how students understand society?

In a bold challenge to conventional wisdom about Higher Education, Simpson argues that today’s neoliberal educational norms foreground abstract concepts and leave the complications of real life, especially the intricacies of power, unexamined. Analysing modern teaching techniques, including service learning and civic engagement, Simpson concludes that for Higher Education to serve democracy it must strengthen students’ abilities to critically analyse social issues, recognize and challenge social inequities, and pursue justice. 

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.8in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003908

  • PUBLISHED OCT 2014

    From: $27.16

    Regular Price: $31.95

    ISBN 9780802096708
  • PUBLISHED OCT 2014

    From: $54.00

    Regular Price: $72.00

    ISBN 9780802099785
  • PUBLISHED NOV 2014

    From: $27.16

    Regular Price: $31.95

Quick Overview

Longing for Justice combines personal narrative with critical analysis to make the case for educational practices that connect to questions of democracy, justice, and the common good.

Longing for Justice: Higher Education and Democracy's Agenda

By Jennifer S. Simpson

© 2014

A timely and persuasive argument for Higher Education’s obligations to our democratic society, Longing for Justice combines personal narrative with critical analysis to make the case for educational practices that connect to questions of democracy, justice, and the common good.  Jennifer S. Simpson begins with three questions. First, what is the nature of the social contract that universities have with public life? Second, how might this social contract shape undergraduate education? And third, how do specific approaches to knowledge and undergraduate education inform how students understand society?

In a bold challenge to conventional wisdom about Higher Education, Simpson argues that today’s neoliberal educational norms foreground abstract concepts and leave the complications of real life, especially the intricacies of power, unexamined. Analysing modern teaching techniques, including service learning and civic engagement, Simpson concludes that for Higher Education to serve democracy it must strengthen students’ abilities to critically analyse social issues, recognize and challenge social inequities, and pursue justice. 

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.8in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    Longing for Justice is a relevant read that I highly recommend because it can serve as an impetus for student affairs professionals to critically reflect on their agency as administrators and educators and on the consequences of their daily educational practices with students.’


    Gerson Sanchez
    Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice June 2016

    Longing for Justice is the book that many of us who are concerned with the rise of the neoliberal university have been longing for. This should be required reading for all students of higher education – and for all administrators and faculty whose role as academic professionals is to educate in a way that builds a wider public culture of democracy. Simpson’s book will go on my shelf and on my syllabi along with the works of Dewey, Horton, Freire, Dzur, and Rendon. It is exactly what is needed at this moment of turmoil to reorient us to the democratic purposes of higher education.”


    John Saltmarsh, Professor of Higher Education Administration & Director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, College of Education and Human Development, University of Massachusetts, Boston

    Longing for Justice is an accessible, well-written critique of the liberal philosophy which still guides the modern university.”


    Frances Henry, Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology, York University
  • Author Information

    Jennifer S. Simpson is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Drama and Speech Communication at the University of Waterloo.
  • Table of contents

    Chapter One. Higher Education and Democracy’s Agenda: Resisting “Streamlined” Education

    Chapter Two. Higher Education and the Social Contract: Considering the “We” of Public Life

    Chapter Three. Civic Engagement and Service Learning: The Burden of Liberal Norms

    Chapter Four. “What Do You Think? 41 Bullets?”: The Relationship of the Subject and the Social

    Chapter Five. Liberal Norms and Questions of Practice: Education, Ethics, and Interests

    Chapter Six. Epistemological Architectures: Possibilities for Understanding the Social

    Chapter Seven. The Work of the “We”: Democracy’s Agenda and Curricular and Pedagogical Possibilities

    References

    Endnotes